is it ever, ever right to torture an individual (by lucad_99)
I saw the movie yesterday and was shocked by it, but even more shocked by some of the comments I have read here. One person wrote that it was ambiguous if the victim of the torture was guilty or not--therefore... One person wrote that since he wasn't an American citizen, therefore... Some people comment that the people in the Middle East hate us and want us dead, therefore... So are we saying then that it is right to torture someone who is guilty of a crime? Are we saying it is right to torture someone who is not an American Citizen? Are we saying that it is right to torture someone who <more>
may hate us and want us dead? Are we saying that, as is written in the Geneva Convention, the Declaration of Human Rights and the Constitution of the United States that "torture is wrong, but some torture is less wrong than others?" When does it become "right" to torture? THAT is why this movie is powerful-- it is ambiguous, but not about torture. Torture is always wrong, and if we are willing to do it, even in the name of justice and "National Security" or "freedom and democracy" then we are wrong and we are evil; we are doing exactly what we are accusing our enemies of doing and we are calling them "wrong" in the same breath. My favorite line in the film was "if you don't want to compromise join Amnesty International." Right on.
Perhaps the most important film of the year (by arshadfilms)
I think this was the most outstanding edge-of-your-seat thriller that I have seen in a long time. The research for the film was thorough, the writer Kelly Sane has left no loose ends. The cast was seasoned fantastic performances all round . Omar Metwally was outstanding.The cinematography is poetic, music enchanting and the overall effect highly satisfying.Rendition goes into territory that even the media fears to tread. It is really a wakeup call for those involved with espionage and the legal web that is the "War on Terror". A woman walked out of the theater and asked me <more>
"does this really happen"? That in itself speaks of Gavin Hood's masterful achievement.
Rendition presents a very topical matter in the form of a very tense thriller. It's a gripping, and not a preaching, movie. Seeing it in an Arab country with a mixture of Arabian and European audience gave it an extra level of atmosphere. The audience was totally gripped by the film and gave it a loud applause afterwards. The story of an Egyptian, married to an American, picked up on the suspicion of links to terrorist organizations and shipped to a friendly with US Arab country for "enhanced interrogation as Meryl Streep's character states in the film: "we have no <more>
torture in the US" seems to be from the front page of todays news. There is a very neat link between the various characters which appear in the movie and the pace of the film never drops. The movies'message seems to be as stated by Jake Gyllenhal's character in the film that by abducting and torturing suspects you create many more terrorists. The acting is uniformly excellent with Streep and Reese Witherspoon the stand outs. Not to be missed.
This film piles deserved shame on our so-called democracies (by flechette)
The film tackles the here and now horror of "rendition" with a multi-cast trans-global account of all involved. No-one gets off lightly because we see the blindness of the players as they carve out their own slice of the worldwide game piling hatred and misery on their "enemies" and themselves in equal measure.The interplay between the sympathetic Senator's Aide played in scintillating style by Peter Sarsgaard and the real Washington power-mongers is electrifying. Meanwhile out in the field, new CIA man Jake Gyllenhaal goes through a sea change in his attitude to <more>
the USA's new found cosiness with torture. Sudden though his rejection of what he initially tacitly condoned is, one has to ask why on earth would anyone who calls him or herself civilized stand and watch anyone be humiliated and abused in this way? The film has few heroes - perhaps Gyllenhaal's flawed and vacillating CIA man is the exception and a necessary indulgence to make the film offer a sliver of hope.The sad fact of course is that this film isn't fiction at all, but a wake up call to those with a shred of decency left in them. The awful truth is that we in the UK and USA have lost the moral plot and this film shows how low we are prepared to go. All this in the name of freedom! There's a wonderful line in the script that says that torture is a sure way to swell the numbers of our enemies. This is already happening in real life and we should listen to the message that this film delivers and start using our might and money much more intelligently!! The message seems to be that any of us who claim that rendition, torture and the abuse of basic human rights are necessary to protect our way of life are as wrong-headed and stultifyingly stupid as the Jihadists and suicide bombers.All praise to the sensibilities of a talented South African director with a eye on the gross unfairness of how power is exercised, and a cast of principled mainstream actors from the US and beyond. Oh, and by the way, the film has a sting in its tail with the ending a clever and thought provoking surprise which I won't give away .I saw the film in an early London preview so it has not yet been widely written up but I'm glad to say that the tide of less than glowing reviews seems to be turning. The BBC review has been very strongly in support and they and I suspect that much of the negative comments come from those who see the world through the simple specs of Hollywood - where the good guys and the bad guys are cardboard cut-outs. Hence the reason that many of the truly great films of the year are increasingly indie and/or non-US pix.
"I fear you speak upon the rack, where men enforced do speak anything." This Shakespearean line from The Merchant of Venice is echoed again in the new film Rendition which introduces the viewer to the "enhanced methods of interrogation", renditions, which began in the Clinton Administration and have become more commonplace since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.The film features an all-star cast, with Oscar winners Meryl Streep, Alan Arkin, and Reese Witherspoon, as well as Peter Sarsgaard, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Omar Metwally. Supporting roles filled by unfamiliar <more>
actors deliver as well, sucking the audience into the plot, and showing how many people can be affected by overseas terror attacks, and our means of investigating them.Rendition follows an Egyptian born terrorism suspect Metwally who is taken by U.S. officials following his flight from South Africa to Washington DC to an undisclosed prison overseas. His pregnant wife Witherspoon ventures to Washington DC to find out about his disappearance through a family friend and Senator's employee Sarsgaard . Gyllenhaal plays a young CIA analyst at the overseas detention facility who monitors the violent interrogation.This film follows the emotional plights of the torture victim Metwally , and those involved in obtaining the supposed information from him. Some, like the CIA analyst Gyllenhaal , are visibly shaken and horrified by the methods exercised, while others, the stern Senator Streep and foreign interrogator Yigal Naor , see it as necessary and effective.The film may be described by some as a political piece, but is ultimately an emotional one. Metwally's performance as the tortured prisoner is Oscar-worthy. The film does not intend to preach, but rather to question and inform the audience on a topic that does not often have a human face put on it. Renditions have been known to work, but have also been known to produce false information from innocent prisoners. The film simply depicts the emotional struggles of those involved in such grave business, and does so in a way that will affect every viewer differently. The film will keep your interest, and have you engaged in each of the character's plights.
A Powerfully acted, and provocative political thriller destined to kick up some dirt (by Robert_duder)
Rendition might be the most well acted film of the year period. If there is an award for best Ensemble cast...Rendition should make some space on it's shelves because this cast is brilliant plain and simple. A story that is provocative, and devilishly controversial, and the actors take it all in stride giving themselves room to open up their characters and really show some guts and emotion. In this kind of situation with this many actor you might expect some would overshadow others with Hollywood elite involved but they all shine in their own way. Now what can you say about this story? Is <more>
it truly anti-American...oh grow up people...this isn't the McCarthy era. It's simply another side to a story where so far no one has said a word about. It's simply providing an alternative to what torturing potential terrorists could cause in the big picture. It's also about a man stripped of his rights in a world that classifies him because of his heritage. No one nation is vilified in the film and no one aspect of terrorism or Homeland security law is being attacked. It's simply showing another side. The story doesn't unfold at break neck speed, in fact to some it might seem to drag and yet the performances are so stunning and the story is so real that you stay riveted to your seat. Honestly I could have done without the chronological mix up right in the middle of everything. I get that perhaps film maker Gavin Hood who is really trying to make a name for himself with this film was trying to throw a very unique spin into the mix and in some ways he succeeded but I felt his tactic took away from the story...but in the same regard it made me want to watch it again!! Egyptian born Omar Metwally plays Chemical Engineer Anwar El-Ibrahimi who is snatched from the airport only minutes from his wife and son and tortured for weeks. Metwally is brilliant and he isn't afraid to make himself look the part of a tortured and ruined man at the hands of his captors. His screams will haunt you and his humbling performance is brilliant. He probably deserves an Oscar nod for supporting. Hollywood starlet Reese Witherspoon is his pregnant and devoted wife who will stop at nothing to find him. She kind of takes a back seat to the entire story and doesn't over shadow anyone and her performance is a little more subtle but defining at the same time. Jake Gyllenhaal is another who has this subtly emotional role as a CIA Analyst who witnesses the torture of Ibrahimi. His character has a lot of depth considering he obviously has an alcohol problem among other things and has this dark sullen side to him. Moa Khouas is also very good as the wide eyed optimistic and determined Jihad member looking for revenge for his brother's death. He is so young and innocent looking making his purpose all the more disturbing. Zineb Oukach does a great job as his love interest and also the unknowing daughter of his target. Meryl Streep is good and again doesn't overshadow as the top CIA Agent responsible for the kidnapping. Peter Sarsgaard is impressive and not someone I usually like all that much as a Senatorial Aid. And Alan Arkin really impresses in a small and yet important role where he really fires up the screen. And finally Yigal Naor probably deserves a supporting actor nod as well as the torturer and devoted father and family man Abasi Fawal.This cast is just extraordinary and everyone I listed has at least one remarkable moment of true emotion and depth. That's pretty impressive. I think Rendition might be one of the most if not THEE most intelligent film of the year. I think you could watch 5-6 times and get something different and learn something new every time. For instance I don't believe that we ever learn that Anwar El-Ibrahimi is truly innocent. The phone calls are still left an unanswered question. Also I believe that there is some sort of tension, something happening between Witherspoon's character and Ibrahimi her husband , there feels like there is a distance in there right from the beginning to the rather lack luster ending. Nonetheless the film is really very brilliant and deserves accolades. Definiately an intelligent and taut drama/thriller but I don't think it has anything splashing across it screaming any one truth or message. Go see it for yourself. 9/10
Imagine you have just been on a plane for 18 hours. You have been on a business trip to South Africa. You are a high-paid professional. You've lived in the US for 20 years. You are in your thirties, you have a wife a little boy and another baby on the way. One thing, even though you have a green card, you are still Egyptian. On transit you are asked to come with 2 security guards, next thing you know you are overpowered, hooded and chained and after a brief but still reasonably civil interrogation you are to be rendered! This is what happens to Anwar el Ibrahimi at the beginning of the <more>
movie. His is a story of pain and literally torture. It's one of several story lines. One follows his wife's attempts to get more information. One follows the cold bureaucrats behind the rendition. Another story deals with the family of the man who leads the interrogation of Anwar el Ibrahimi. There are some other stories too and by the end they all neatly come together. Though the more famous actors like Reese Witherspoon as the distraught pregnant wife Jake Gyllenhaal as the CIA rookie forced to watch the interrogation in Northern Africa and Meryl Streep as CIA hotshot Corine Whitman it is really the more unknown actors that carry the story and give it it's heart. For me the actor playing the unfortunate Mr El Ibrahimi Omar Metwally was the heart and soul of this movie. His portrayal of a man in distress was shockingly well done. It's almost as if he was being tortured for real! Also Israeli actor Yigal Naor was very impressive as the part worried family-man and part extremely cruel chief of torture. Hard to watch and not exactly fun, but still very worthwhile.
Think of it as an extreme form of detention without trial. Without commenting and taking a side on the US Foreign Policy, the process of Extraordinary Rendition involves taking persons suspected of terrorist activities to a foreign country, an opposite to an extradition if you wish, to a place where torture is not a crime but a means to illicit information. Instead of staining your soil with blood of potentially innocent parties, you do so on foreign land where such tactics are accepted interrogation techniques.Naturally, given the severity of the tactics and attempts at breaking down a <more>
person, sometimes you would get what you want once you pass the resistance, or get nothing, or worst of all, get a confession just because the mind has been broken to the point that the subject will agree to whatever you say. It's an ugly process, and what better way to do it when you're the champion human rights, giving the nod to use whatever means necessary in the name of protecting more lives, in an age where information is key to the battle against terror, and doing so in a country where probably the rights record is questionable.Rendition is this year's Syriana, though in the run up to the new year we do have a number of political thriller contenders to take that crown, with Rendition first of all, followed by the Robert Redford movie Lions for Lambs, starring Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep again, though now on the other side of the fence , and The Kingdom with Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner, though this one would probably turn out to be more action driven. Directed by Gavin Hood, who did Tsotsi and will be helming the new Wolverine spin off, Rendition is a decent thriller with a top notch cast, in a narrative that has been proved quite popular these days - the split, which provides for some ample differential perspectives to be presented through an ensemble cast.Anwar El-Ibrahimi Omar Metwally , a chemical engineer, gets renditioned en route to going home under the orders of CIA top brass Corrine Whitman Meryl Streep . At a detention facility outside the US, Jake Gyllenhaal's CIA analyst Douglas Freeman oh so prophetic embarks on his very first interrogation session, no doubt being thrust into a position that he didn't sign up for. Back home, a very pregnant Reese Whitherspoon searches frantically for answers to her husband's disappearance, and sought after an ex-flame Alan Smith's Peter Sarsgaard assistance, since he's working for Senator Hawkins Alan Arkin . Throw in J.K. Sinmmons, a terrorist plot investigation and a budding forbidden love story between Fatima Zineb Oukach and Khalid Moa Khouas , you have quite a bit going on in a busy picture.Given a number of casts, locations, timelines and the likes, Rendition wasn't confusing at all, and it plays out with deft handling of the material, never quick to judge, presenting ideas and thoughts from both sides of the equation. Every character has their own agenda, and the unveiling of this agenda engages enough not to bore nor to confuse you. And the best part of it all is how, very truly, they bow down to self-preservation in different forms, and ultimately, in various lose-lose situations unfortunately. It kept you guessing as well - did he or didn't he, and constantly played with your mind as to whether Anwar deserved what he's getting. It utilized one extremely smart sleight of hand which I didn't see coming until it's too late so there goes the credit , though it did succumb to the usual stereotyping of terrorist militants, and without spending much time in depth to explore their motivations. Perhaps it didn't find a need to, given so many movies out there already touching base on this issue Paradise Now, Day Night Day Night, Syriana even . While it turned out to be rather one-dimensional personal tragedy to strapping of bombs to become a suicide bomber , I felt Rendition did right in not providing any saccharine sweet ending, that this fight against negative, destructive ideology, isn't something that can be addressed in a two hour movie, and I'm glad it steered clear such fairy tale implausibilities. What we have instead is a well crafted tale that sets its gun sights on the issue of Rendition, and probably capable enough to spark discussion once the lights come on, on which camp you belong to - do you support inflicting severe pain in interrogation? Yes or No? This is the quintessential question of our time. Yes or No? OK, I'm already geared for Lions for Lambs !
I liked this movie. I saw it to a packed house at the Toronto International Film Festival the day after the gala opener which must have gone over well. The director, Gavin Hood was supposed to be present for today's screening, but alas his twins were born just hours before, so he had to jet on a flight back. '2 birthings in 24 hours' was how he joked about it.Rendition refers to 'extraordinary rendition' -- a term whereby suspected terrorists in the US can be sent, without the legal consent of their parents nations, to prisons abroad to be questioned and detained.It's <more>
fairly predictable -- innocent Egyptian-American man wrongly accused of being a terrorist 'goes missing' while en route from South Africa to Washingon DC. He is sent abroad, while wife at home Reese Witherspoon fights to find him and free him. But what makes this movie special are some nice choices in story-telling: 1 a human-touch story of what is going on in the locale where a suicide bomb-detonated; 2 the humanity of a CIA agent trying to understand and be honest with what is really going on; and 3 the chronology of story-telling which makes it a tight, taut tale that moves and jerks at the right moments. Ah -- relief! And a mix of emotions that swirl around as the story fights for an ending.All-around strong acting with Meryl Streep as a standout vixen.